Yam croquettes with tangerine-sherry sauce
Made with sweet, colorful yams, these croquettes are veggie mini-burgers that can be served as a first course or appetizer, or serve several croquettes as a main course for vegetarian guests. If tangerines aren't available, substitute orange juice. Or, omit the sauce and top the croquettes with a dollop of sour cream, a cherry tomato half, and a tiny sprig of fresh flat-leaf parsley.
For the sauce
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh tangerine juice
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dry sherry
1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeño pepper, or to taste
Salt to taste
For the croquettes
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup (about 8 ounces) coarsely shredded peeled yam or orange sweet potato
½ cup finely chopped red onion
½ cup minced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup prepared dried bread crumbs
¼ cup slivered almonds, crushed or ground
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten
Sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
To make the sauce, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl until smooth; set aside.
To make the croquettes, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the yam, onion, celery, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients.
For each patty, gently squeeze about 1 tablespoon of the mixture in your hand to form a ball, then flatten into a 2-inch round patty. Place the patties on a plate as they are prepared.
Wash and dry the skillet. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Cook the croquettes for about 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly brown. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel; pat gently.
Arrange the warm croquettes on a platter and garnish. Serve the sauce in a small bowl with a spoon or small ladle for drizzling it over the warm croquettes. Provide plates and forks for your guests.
The sauce will keep for up to 2 days in a covered container in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature for serving. The croquette mixture will keep for up to 1 day in a covered container in the refrigerator. To serve warm, sauté the croquettes just before serving or make them up to 1 day in advance, cover and refrigerate, and reheat on a baking sheet in a 350°F oven for about 5 minutes.
Paulette Mitchell, a culinary instructor, television personality, spokesperson, freelance food writer, and the award-winning author of 13 cookbooks, is known internationally for her quick-to-prepare recipes with gourmet flair. Paulette's most recently published cookbook is "The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet: Creative Cuisine Made Fast and Fresh." She is also the author of "A Beautiful Bowl of Soup" and "The Spirited Vegetarian," which was voted "Best Book in the World on Cooking with Wine" at the 2005 Gourmand World Media Awards. Paulette says that international travel is her favorite source of culinary inspiration.